Bridal Fitness Progress, Plans, Updates, Food…
Progress update time! It has been almost 3 weeks since I started referring to myself as a “Bride to Be.” It’s still a little weird, it still doesn’t quite feel real, and I’m still as motivated as ever to get into amazing shape – both physically and mentally. I think everything will start to feel “real” once I put down that first deposit on a venue (which, hopefully will be soon) or send out the “handful-of-actual-paper-but-mainly-electronic-because-no-one-saves-these-things-anyway” Save the Dates. As of right now, I’d like to think I’m ahead of the game. I’ve decided that I’m going to basically DIY most of the decorations, invitations, and even a few of my wearables (I just can’t justify spending a few HUNDRED on a veil when I know how to make one for under $30) which is saving me a bunch of stress and money. (Thank you, Michaels, Hobby Lobby and Amazon!) My budget is basically set (waiting on a few final pieces to settle) and I have some ideas for my venue and date, a few dresses I want to try on, and I’ve already started to create decorations. The best part about that? Even though this wedding is a YEAR away, these decorations can be used in my house until then. And if I break one? Oops oh well, it costs like $8 to make it again.
But you’re not here for my wedding plan. I mean, if you are, that’s cool, I’m happy to share. But chances are, if you’re here it’s for fitness and how to stay mentally sane during a stressful time. I get it; you want to know how my progress is going and what I’m doing to prepare to rock this fabulous dress I have in mind. Maybe you want to know what I’m doing so you can try it yourself. If that’s the case, please let me know! I’d love to have someone else doing this so I can avoid going crazy! So let’s talk about the fitness. Yeah? Since I posted my initial write up about my plan and blah blah blah, my “shredding for the wedding” schedule hasn’t changed. I have been sticking to it, and I’ve been sticking to my meal plan as best as I can. After all, with it still being early in my engagement, there are still plenty of celebratory “let me buy you a drink!” or “oh man I forgot to go to the store and all I have is PB&J” evenings. Suck it up – it happens! Let yourself celebrate! Let yourself get wrapped up in the planning (in a good way!) and be “forced “to have a peanut butter sandwich for dinner sometimes. Take it all in stride. When I started planning this wedding, I made a vow (haha) to “only stress about things that really matter to me.” I refuse to add unnecessary stress to my life right now because a) I have enough, and b) stress causes your body to hold onto excess weight, so there’s that! So for me, I refuse to stress about things like not being able to be perfect with my nutrition (as long as I’m on point most of the time, it’s all good!), whether or not my bridesmaids all want to wear a similar dress (I’m letting them pick whatever dress comes in a designated color), if I have to move a workout time or date (SHIT HAPPENS, YO) or whether I want the groom and his men to wear purple or blue socks (I quite honestly don’t care). There are certain things that are worth stressing over, and there are things that are NOT. Wedding Planning Sanity Saving Tip: choose what you will allow yourself to stress over, and STOP stressing over shit that doesn’t matter. Trust me here, Bridezilla, you’ll make yourself and everyone around you happier.
One thing that I have decided to do which may seem counter intuitive to my “lower my stress” rule is find a second job. I know, I’m a busy girl as it is, but you know what? After I did the math and took an honest look at my free time, I realized that I do have the time to take on a temporary, part-time night and weekend-morning job. I’m still working on where and filling out some applications, but it’s happening. I just realized that it will save my sanity to WORK and earn the extra money – no matter how tired I may be – as opposed to NOT WORK and sit home and STRESS about “where I’m going to find it.” I will still have time for my workouts, my full time job, my artwork, my friends and family, and planning this wedding. I’m determined to have the wedding I want, and I want to lower my stress by ensuring that no matter what the finances, I can do it!
So speaking of having time for my workouts – let’s talk about that. Much like always, I have dedicated my 5am time slot to my own personal fitness. I’m finishing up a full round of Hammer & Chisel, and even though I’m nowhere close to “chiseled,” I definitely have seen and felt a lot of progress this round, and I really feel like my body is responding to training again and I’m finding some kind of sweet spot. It’s really a refreshing feeling, let me tell you! For reference in the future, this is a photo from the other morning.
Do I still see spots I want to work on? Yeah. But did I feel more comfortable snapping this photo than I have taking a progress picture at any other time in 2017 so far? You’re damn right! I have been doing a little bit of modification to the H&C meal plan, and I feel like that is helping me out a lot more than the “by the book” version ever did.
On my “Chisel” days, I am eating based on the “A” plan. On my “Hammer” days, I go up to “B.” During the Hammer days, my weights are heavier, there is more POWER in those workouts, and my body needs the extra fuel to recover. My Chisel days are more endurance, slightly lighter weights, and/or cardio – so I don’t need the same amount of calories. Now, of course, since you know that I don’t believe in “one size fits all” for nutrition, you know I’m even tweaking beyond that A vs B alternating day thing. I’m paying less attention to the calories and “exact” serving sizes, and I’m paying more attention to the macros and how the calorie level matches up with my calorie expenditure for that day. So what I’m doing is taking what I plan out for the day based on the “A” or “B” plan, entering that into MyFitnessPal, and I’m examining it further: I look at the calorie count – am I hitting my BMR or higher, or does it leave me with far too few calories? (Read more on that here) I look at the macros – how are my carbs, fats & proteins matching up? Are my carbs too high? Am I eating enough fats? I look at my nutrients – am I lacking something like iron, vitamin c, calcium, etc.? And I look at the quality or types of foods I’m eating – am I taking in a lot of dairy that day? Is most of my protein coming from powder? What are my carbohydrate sources? Based on what I see after I look at these, I make my adjustments. If my carbs are too high, I will either reduce my intake in a meal or two (if my calorie level is high or in my ideal range), or I will add an extra protein or fat source (if my calories are on the low end.) I will tweak and modify my days until I feel that they are best fueled for what I need that week of workouts. Of course, this may not be easy for everyone to do right away, but once you start to get a feel for how your body responds to certain foods, certain macro levels, etc. – you can start to do this for yourself. I’m happy to help you – just email me! At this point, it’s like second nature. I can write up, tweak, modify and write out a meal plan for my week in about an hour each Sunday. By doing this sort of nutrition planning instead of following a “super strict, super controlled diet to lose a bunch of weight,” it allows me the flexibility to go out to eat, to celebrate and to have a scoop or two of ice cream here and there. An extra hour of food prep and planning to save my sanity? You betcha. I’ll take that every day.
Body wise, I’m feeling great. A little sore – which is great, because I haven’t had that in a while – but I feel wonderful. I have my good days and my bad days. I have days where I feel like the leanest I’ve ever felt and want to wear my form fitting sweaters, and then there’s days where I feel like a busted can of biscuits and want to wear a burlap sack. Of course, that’s why we take photos and measurements. Notice I didn’t say anything about weight. Honestly, I still don’t know what I weigh. I mean, I have an IDEA, but I don’t really CARE about the exact number. Maybe I’ll take a look at it on January 1, just to see where I’m at. But until then, I’m sticking with photos, jeans and feelings for my indication of progress!
In the next few weeks, I have a lot of social engagements – concerts, hockey season starts up again, college homecoming is here, and then we roll right into the holidays. It’s going to be hard times some days, but I GOT THIS! And if you’re worried about that sort of thing – YOU GOT THIS TOO! Just stay focused, stay the course, and trust yourself to do what is right by your body. I’m going to NAIL IT this week, and I’ll share a more “then and now” type update next week or so.
But now…OFF TO CRAFTY LAND I GO!